The Stillness of the Morning (Matins, morning prayers)
As we enter into the wonder of this day, I think it would be amazing to participate together in an early morning worship service, the first of the canonical hours known as Matins. Matins is taken from the Latin word matutinus, meaning “pertaining to the morning.” During Matins, we put aside other thoughts, reflect quietly, and concentrate on our prayers.
Give yourself space to feel the holiness of our God, who is near and as close as the mention of his name. He delights in you. I have taken the initiative to type a service order below and coordinated that charge with a Spotify playlist¹ (see footnote) meant to aid us as we still our hearts before our great creator.
Feel free to grab some coffee, surrender to the comfort of your favorite chair and begin by saying these words with me:
“O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me.”
“O Lord, Thou wilt open my lips, and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.”
SONG #1: The Invitation
Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you (if we were in person, you all would say: “and also with you.”) This is the day that the Lord has made. (let us rejoice and be glad in it.)
As we begin this time of reflection and prayer, let us read A Liturgy for the Ritual of Morning Coffee from Every Moment Holy by Doug Mckelvey².
Meet me, O Christ, in this stillness of morning. Move me, O Spirit, to quiet my heart. Mend me, O Father, from yesterday’s harms. From the discords of yesterday, resurrect my peace.
From the discouragement of yesterday, resurrect my hope. From the weariness of yesterday, resurrect my strength. From the doubts of yesterday, resurrect my faith. From the wounds of yesterday, resurrect my love.
Let me enter this new day aware of my need and awake to your grace, O Lord. Amen
SONG #2: For The Beauty Of The Earth
Let us pray:
Father, hear the prayers we offer: not for ease that prayer shall be, but for strength, that we may ever live our lives courageously. Not forever in green pastures do we ask our way to be, but the steep and rugged pathway may we tread rejoicingly. Not forever by still waters would we idly rest and stay but would smite the living fountains from the rocks along our way. Be our strength in hours of weakness; in our wanderings be our Guide; through endeavor, failure, danger, Savior, be thou at our side. Amen.
SONG #3: Open Our Eyes Lord
Jesus says, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.’ So let us turn away from our sin and turn to Christ, confessing our sins in repentance and faith. Lord God, we have sinned against you and done evil in your sight. We are sorry and repent. Have mercy on us according to your love. Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from our sin. Renew a right spirit within us and restore us to the joy of your salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
May the Father of all mercies cleanse you from your sins and restore you in his image to the praise and glory of his name through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
SONG #4: Have Mercy On Me
Blessed is the Lord, for he has heard the voice of our prayer; therefore shall our hearts dance for joy, and in our song will we praise our God. Blessed are you, Lord our God, creator, and redeemer of all; to you be glory and praise forever. From the waters of chaos, you drew forth the world and, in your great love, fashioned us in your image. Now, through the deep waters of death, you have brought your people to new birth by raising your Son to life in triumph. May Christ, your light ever dawn in our hearts as we offer you our sacrifice of thanks and praise. Blessed be God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Blessed be God forever. The night has passed, and the day lies open before us; let us pray with one heart and mind.
Silence is kept.
As we rejoice in the gift of this new day, so may the light of your presence, O God, set our hearts on fire with love for you, now and forever. Amen.
SONG #5: Abide With Me
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day, he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
SONG #6: Be Thou My Vision
Let us pray:
O Lord, almighty and everlasting God, you have brought us in safety to this new day; preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome in adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
SONG #7: Firm Foundation